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Thomas to be interim chief ombudsman

The Financial Ombudsman Service has appointed David Thomas as interim chief ombudsman, following the resignation of Walter Merricks.

Thomas, who is a principal ombudsman, will act as chief ombudsman from October 30 until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Thomas has been with the FOS for 10 years, most recently as corporate director with responsibility for strategic policy, legislation and rules, as well as relations with government, regulators and the European Commission. He was previously the banking ombudsman and a solicitor in private practice.

Recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates, which has advertised the position, will conduct preliminary interviews from November 4 and the final round will conclude on December 18.

The role pays over £180,000 a year and requires candidates to have experience in leadership and strategic thinking and prior exposure to “a complex stakeholder environment”.

In July, chief ombudsman Walter Merricks said he would step down from the role after 10 years. Merricks, who helped to set up the FOS, will become the first chair of the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator.

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